The Mystery of the Loveland Frogman, the Ohio Frog Man.

The Mystery of the Loveland Frogman, the Ohio Frog Man.

This enigmatic amphibious being, though often dismissed as mere folklore, has left an indelible mark on the imagination of those who dare to venture into the realm of the unexplained. The tale of the Loveland Frog dates back to the early 1950s when a series of singular encounters brought this creature into the spotlight. Loveland, a picturesque town along the banks of the Little Miami River in Ohio,
but let’s proceed in order:

First Sighting

The story began in 1955. The exact date of the first sighting is unknown, but it is often said to have occurred in May. There are three versions of the original sighting, with subtle differences all involving an unnamed businessman (or traveling salesman) driving along an unidentified road although some reports claimed it was Hopewell Road late at night, around 3:30 AM. Some said he was entering or exiting the Branch Hill neighborhood, right along the river and near a dimly lit bridge. According to the first version, he saw three figures along the side of the road. They were three to four feet tall, stood upright on their hind legs, had no fur but rather leathery skin.
Their hands and feet were webbed, and they had the heads and faces of frogs. In this version, the man parked his car on the side of the road and observed those unsettling figures for about three minutes. He watched the creatures “converse,” then one of them held a wand, sometimes described as a metal cylinder, above its head and shot a spray of sparks frightening the man and finally forcing him to leave the scene. The other two versions saw the creatures spotted on a bridge and the other under a bridge. The fact is that the businessman fled, and to this day it is not clear to whom and when he recounted the events of the night as well as the clarity of the events themselves.
Second Sighting

The next widely recognized sighting would not occur until 1972, and for this we have some more information. At one o’clock in the morning on March 3, 1972, a police officer named Ray Shockey was driving along Riverside Drive headed to Loveland. He claims to have been driving cautiously because of ice when a creature ran across the road in front of his vehicle. Once stopped, he illuminated the creature completely with his headlights and then provided the following description: it was three to four feet tall, weighed 50 to 75 pounds, and had skin as leathery as a lizard or frog. It was crouched like a frog but standing and staring directly at Officer Shockey. Then it hopped over the guardrail and descended towards the river.

Third Sighting

The third sighting of this story occurred two weeks after the previous one by Officer Mark Mathews. According to the report, Officer Mathews, while driving towards Loveland, noticed what he believed to be an injured animal lying on the sidewalk. Mathews got out of his car intending to remove the carcass from the already slippery road due to ice when the creature suddenly leaped up into a “crouched” position.
Taken by surprise by the reptilian face of the Frog Man, Mathews drew his pistol and fired at the creature, which then limped to the side of the road and hopped over the guardrail, Mathews’ “Frog Man” corresponded to the description of the first officer down to the smallest details, except for the tail, which was absent in previous reports.
In the years following these events, Officer Mathews has somehow recanted his account. He now claims that the animal in question was nothing more than a large reptile that had escaped from its owner. He also insists that the only reason he shot the creature was to help confirm a fellow officer’s story – a story that, of course, was met with predictable skepticism by their superiors. Whether Mathews’ change of heart was inspired by ridicule or the faded memory of an event he had been removed from for 30 years remains the fact that his own testimony indicates his subsequent retraction. In an email interview in 2001, retired Officer Mark Mathews explained that the incident was “blown out of proportion”. He stated that: “It was not and is not a ‘monster’. It was not leathery nor was it wet.

Recent Episodes

Since then, nothing more was heard until 2016 when the creature returned to the headlines thanks to the discovery by Sam Jacobs and his girlfriend. The two were playing Pokémon Go, the craze app of the time that led players to wander in search of creatures to catch when suddenly they spotted a strange shadow in the water. Jacobs quickly snapped a photo of what appeared to be a creature half-submerged in the water with glowing eyes. But what was it really? Just lights swirling in the dark? Subsequent investigations seem to have confirmed that it was indeed a hoax. In short, the frogman has always and only been an iguana that escaped from a city resident, or is it really a magical monster that controls that swampy area? Until we can concretely capture a shadow of the creature, the Loveland frog may remain forever a mystery…

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